Martin Scorsese showcases how an “image” can speak a thousand words in his gangster film “The Departed”. What I admired most in this movie was Scorsese’s ability to tell a story simply through using props and lighting. Notice how Colin (Matt Damon) walks past a / of a lighting that crosses right through his head. How Billy (DiCaprio) walks past a couple of Xs at the airport, and how the windows behind Queenan (Martin Sheen) are tattered with X tape as he falls to his death. These symbols, of course, have meaning. What all these three characters have in common is [spoiler alert] they all die. And the “/s” and the “Xs” are recurring symbols throughout the film which foreshadows a character’s imminent death. Although, Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) does [spoiler alert] die, I have yet to find his “X” in the film, but I am sure its somewhere.
The movie is primarily about finding the mole in the police force who keeps leaking the information to Costello’s gang. The mole, in the end, was never clarified and that’s encapsulated in the last gif.